pramsay posted on January 06, 2009 17:23 2011 views

“Jotham, what’s your secret?”

If you could learn the secret of a successful Christian life, would you be interested? If you were told that the code for a thriving and robust life for God was buried somewhere in the next 600 words, would you carefully read each sentence and analyze each word and phrase, trying to unscramble the secret code? Well, guess what? The secret IS contained in this Bible Bite. See if you can discover it.

Jotham doesn’t get a great deal of ink in the Bible. He was one of the kings of Judah. His father was better known – King Uzziah. But pride got the best of Uzziah and he spiraled downward. It seems the last few years of his life, due to leprosy, his son Jotham co-reigned with him, assisting in the responsibilities of governing a nation. Uzziah dies and the time has come for Jotham to step up to the throne himself.

“Dad is gone. All eyes are on me now. At least when I was co-reigning with dad, I didn’t have to take all the flack if something went wrong. Or when difficult choices were made, I didn’t have to assume full responsibility for them. I could duck a bit, knowing that dad was still in the picture. But now all eyes are on me. ‘The buck stops here’, as they say. My days of hiding behind someone else or staying in the shadows are over. I will be judged by the choices and the decisions I make during my reign. It is not a shared responsibility. It is all on my shoulders now!”

This can hit a person like a ton of bricks! Often we are just coasting along in our Christian life, blending in with other Christians or our Christian family – doing what they do and thinking the way they think. All of sudden, you have to step-out into another zone – like college or university or you move out of a protected environment and …. whammo!! You are struck between the eyes with the reality that you ALONE are responsible for your behaviour and you have no one to hide behind.

“You’re it, Jotham!” And with no further ado, the 25 year old man steps out on to the public stage wearing the crown.

Jotham did well. In fact, he was one of the better kings of Judah. He completed a number of infrastructure projects in the capital city and out in the country as well. He also was successful in recovering lost revenue from the Ammonites.  He didn’t go into a downward spiritual spiral like his dad. He wasn’t perfect but he left on the pages of Scripture an almost blameless record.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. (2Chronicles 27:6) KJV

So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the LORD his God. (2Chronicles 27:6) ESV

Or as Eugene Peterson paraphrased it in The Message:

“Jotham’s strength was rooted in his steady and determined life of obedience to God.”

They say it’s the small print that’s important. The secret code to Jotham’s successful life for God is found in the small print. If you must, use a magnifying glass to discover it because it’s very important. It is critical for you to crack this code and to use it.

If you are going to live a successful Christian life you will have to decide to do it. It won’t just happen. It will be a deliberate choice you make. It will require determination and stamina. It will mean that you will have to stand up and be counted. It will also require every-day vigilance. A Bible Conference or a powerful ministry message might be a turning point in your life, but to keep on in that path will require daily effort in your personal walk with the Lord.

The secret of Jotham’s strength was his steady and determined life of obedience to God.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ

Peter Ramsay

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